Simon Conolly : Sculptor
‘Hopping Down’ and ‘Hop Picking Family’ : installations at Scotney Castle (National Trust), Lamberhurst, Kent
In January 2018 Scotney Castle launched their new sculpture programme within the gardens. The area in the garden was originally home to a piece by Henry Moore and each new installation will sit in the same place using the castle as a perfect backdrop for the work.
At the beginning of July, Simon installed his sculpture ‘Hopping Down’ comprising 33 hop pickers. There is also a smaller piece ‘Hop Picking Family’ in the courtyard in front of the castle next to the information board. These works will help to celebrate the tradition of hop picking in the area, with Little Scotney Farm being the last working hop farm within the National Trust. Thousands of men, women and children used to ‘hop down’ to Kent, from the East End, every summer to harvest the hops.
Simon’s piece will sit within the garden for six months until the end of December. Throughout September guided walks will be running from Scotney Castle to see the hop gardens, picking shed, drying oast and hoppers huts.
Simon working in very hot temperatures to install the work!
Simon was recently elected as an Associate of the RBSA (Royal Birmingham Society of Artists)
The RHS Malvern Spring Festival has been a very busy 4 days! This year, in addition to the usual stand with the Worcestershire Guild in the Wye Hall, Simon has had work on display in one of the show gardens. Olivia Kirk’s ‘The Collectors Garden’ was designed to celebrate the re-developed Royal Porcelain Works in Worcester. The garden was awarded a Silver Gilt medal by the RHS. Simon’s pottery workers seek to reflect the hard work, technical ability, artistry and camaraderie within the group which contributed to the success of Royal Worcester.
‘Hook, Line and Sinker : A Sustainable Catch’ was a finalist at the ‘Wildlife Artist of the Year’ exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London at the beginning of May.
Early Spring 2018
Plans are well underway for a wealth of shows and exhibitions in 2018. Currently work is on show at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and at the Craft and Design Centre in Leeds in their Monochrome – Surface Exhibition.
Craft and Design Centre, Leeds.
AppArt at Prior’s Field, Godalming, Surrey begins on 30 March (until 14 April).
Birtley House Surrey Hills Sculpture Trail ( 4 – 28 May). On display will be work suitable for outdoors and an indoor piece.
‘Message Sent’ and ‘Message Received’ Surrey Hills Sculpture Trail at Birtley House, near Guildford.
‘In Flight’ at Birtley House
Simon will have work in a show garden at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival this year. Olivia Kirk (a Chelsea gold medal winning garden designer) has designed a garden celebrating the developments at the Royal Worcester porcelain factory site, based on the Great Exhibition of 1851. The garden will include Simon’s ‘Royal Worcester pottery workers’.
Later in the year (July through to December) at Scotney Castle in Kent which is owned by the National Trust, ‘Hop Pickers’ will be Simon’s most ambitious work to date. An installation comprising 33 hop pickers will help to celebrate the tradition of hop picking in the area (where there is still a hop picking farm). The work will be sited on a plinth recently vacated by a Henry Moore sculpture!
‘Birders’ A new series of sculptures first seen at the Malvern Autumn Show and also exhibited at ‘Art in Clay’ at The Maltings in Farnham, Surrey 18/19 November 2017.
These figures are designed to sit individually or in groups, on plinths or shelves either inside or outside.
Kiftsgate Court near Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire hosted the Oxford Sculptors Group event ‘Sculpture at Kiftsgate’ from 19 August until 6 September 2017. Simon had one piece ‘Wenlock Edge’ on display.
‘Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design’ at Thirlestaine Long Gallery, Cheltenham 19 – 28 August 2017. This annual exhibition is primarily an exhibition of contemporary bespoke designer-maker furniture but also included selected works from leading artisans in disciplines such as sculpture. Simon had several indoor wall mounted sculptures and two outdoor pieces.
‘Talking Cobblers’ was part of the Surrey Sculpture Society’s Sculpture Trail at RHS Wisley from 19 August – 24 September 2017. For the first time the line up included a dog!
‘Second City Bragging Rights’ was exhibited at the RBSA’s ‘Metropolis’ Exhibition in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham between 24 August – 30 September 2017.
‘Fight, Protect, Engage’ was a finalist at the Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London which ran from 28 June – 2 July 2017.
‘Sorting Out The Economy’ was exhibited at the Surrey Hills Sculpture Garden, Birtley Estate, near Guildford between 30 April – 13 May 2017.
‘A Snog in the Garden’ is currently on show at RHS Hyde Hall near Chelmsford until Sunday 30 July 2017.
‘Long Wait for the 147A’ was exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) Annual Exhibition 2017 at the Mall Galleries in London. The exhibition ran from Wednesday 22 March until Saturday 1 April.
Details from two of the panels from ‘Long Wait for the 147A’
Simon’s two pieces ‘Low Tide, Haslar Creek, Gosport I’ and ‘Low Tide, Haslar Creek, Gosport II’ were selected for the Royal Society of Marine Artists Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London between Wednesday 28 September and Saturday 8 October 2016.
Simon’s frieze ‘Migration, Pure Theatre’ was selected for the ‘Wildlife Artist of the Year 2016’ exhibition which was held at The Mall Galleries, London between 27 June and 2 July 2016. The piece was awarded a ‘highly commended’ rating by the judges.
Simon also had an artwork selected for the Wildlife Artist of The Year 2015 exhibition.
In 2014 his stoneware relief, framed in oak ‘The Age of Enlightenment’ was hung at the Embankment Gallery, Somerset House, London in the exhibition of the National Open Art Competition 2014.
In 2014 Simon had two works exhibited at the annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists at The Mall Galleries, London. He had a composition exhibited at the same gallery in the annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists.
‘Shoal 23’ Simon at the Royal Academy of Arts
In 2012 his stoneware relief ‘Ludlow Races’ was hung at the Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly, London.